A roadmap for strengthening forest and farm producer organizations

A roadmap for strengthening forest and farm producer organizations

Forest and farm producers are women and men, smallholder families, indigenous peoples and local communities who have strong relationships with forests and farms in forested landscapes. Such producers grow, manage, harvest and process a wide range of natural-resource-based goods and services for subsistence use and for sale in local, national or international markets.

Forest and farm producer organizations are formal or informal associations of such producers. They are created with the aim of helping their members share knowledge and experience; engage in policy advocacy; secure tenure and access rights to forest, land and other natural resources; improve forest and farm management; expand markets; build enterprises; and increase income and well-being.
 
The aim of this policy brief is to spread the word about forest and farm producer organizations and their increasing role in helping smallholders improve their economic and social well-being while managing their resources sustainably. The brief sets out a roadmap by which an international partnership can boost support for forest and farm producer organizations worldwide.

A road map for boosting support for forest and farm producer organization:

  • share the news. There is an urgent need to increase the visibility and amplify the voices of forest and farm producer organizations in policymaking and decision-making
  • assist forest and farm producer organizations to become stronger. Governments and development partners should focus policies on, develop incentives for, and direct resources towards strengthening locally controlled forestry
  • create an enabling environment. Existing laws, regulations, institutions and services often hinder rather than encourage forest and farm producer organizations. Governments, service providers and development partners should help create an enabling environment
  • clear a path for increased finance. Governments, development agencies and financial institutions should collaborate to provide forest and farm producer organizations and their members with greater access to financial services
  • connect forest smallholders to markets and services. Connections between forest and farm producer organizations and government agencies, development partners and non-governmental organizations can link local producers to buyers and remunerative markets and help them increase their skills, knowledge and resources
  • build a global coalition. A worldwide coalition of forest and farm producer organizations will influence global policymaking and generate momentum for greater support
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